The Forza Horizon series has a nasty (read: great) habit of raising the bar for graphics and intricate but accessible driving controls. This has only been amplified by next-gen technology. The latest gameplay footage that premiered during the Xbox Gamescom Stream demonstrated this with ease. Mexico’s biomes in Horizon 5 are teeming with lush shrubbery, arid flatlands, sparkling seas, and sleepy villages/bustling cities. As always, where you travel and who you bring along for the ride are up to you. This time around, however, the explorable environment is even more alive than ever before.
So what’s a Forza game without the constant promise of adrenaline-pumping spectacle? Is it any surprise that the opening seconds of the Horizon 5 showcase a 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands skydiving and then parachuting onto the bumpy slopes of an active volcano? While the off-road SUV deftly maneuvers past eroding rock formations and sharp gravel, you can spot a sea of storm clouds enveloping the landscape in every direction—the Gran Caldera is the highest navigable point in the entirety of Playground Games’ open-world racing franchise, to boot!
The Bronco begins its dangerous descent towards the Baja Desert and fissures brimming with inlets of steaming lava bubble as raindrops lightly pitter-patter against the vehicle’s broad windshield. And don’t be fooled by the heat. Creative director Mike Brown asserts that this is Mexico’s winter season, and, on cue, the molten earth gives way to thick layers of snow and sleet.
The coming masterpiece that is Forza Horizon 5 is a transitional game that bridges the gap between the two recent titles before it and showcases a brilliant new vision of the developer’s immense ambitions. Additionally, this is the first installment designed to fully utilize the power of the modern gaming PC.
One moment, a 2020 Corvette Stingray carves its speedy path through the Mexican farmlands as an encroaching dust storm threatens to paint the field of view rust-orange. Suddenly, a Porsche 911 Desert Flyer speeds through a dense jungle towards an ancient temple. Finally, a Mercedes AMG One confidently coasts down the paved streets of small settlements, palm trees swaying in the breeze. As always, there’s much to see and even more to do.
The long-running Horizon series may not be known for its campaign, but this latest installment ups the ante with hundreds of challenges and miscellaneous activities like the multiplayer-focused Horizon Arcade and the Event Lab, which provides complex toolsets to create/share custom races, challenges, stunts, and more. Yet, the most interesting mechanic allows players to choose the outcome of any of the story missions. How this is implemented and what this means for the dynamic world remains to be seen. Forza fans are guaranteed a bevy of content as always and with weekly seasons returning, Mexico’s look and feel will shift frequently.
At the recent Tokyo Game Show 2021, Forza Horizon 5 unveiled the title’s recommended PC specs, peripheral support (including some of the most popular steering wheels) as detailed via Xbox Wire and on FM.net.
As shown in the infographic below, Forza Horizon on PC will look and play fantastic across a range of PC hard configurations on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Moreover, Mike Brown, Creative Director of Forza Horizon 5 at and Ben Thaker-Fell, Principal Game Designer from Playground Games showcased a demo on the new Surface devices. Players can explore Mexico beginning on November 9 when Forza Horizon 5 releases the PC (Windows and Steam).
For the latest updates on Forza Horizon 5, check out Xbox Wire and follow @ForzaHorizon on Twitter.
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